AgriLand’s ultimate Christmas gift guide
What do you buy for the person who seemingly doesn’t need anything?
We know farmers are a tricky bunch to buy for so with that in mind we’ve put together this year’s ultimate Christmas gift guide – agri-edition that is!
Gifts for gadget geeks
Mini weather station
This one gets points for being both practical and a bit of a novelty at the same time.
With the rise of precision farming, temperatures and soil moisture levels matter more than ever so give a gift that shows you care about the business while also indulging an inner gadget geek.
This one by Bresser offers five-in-one functions with an outdoor sensor to show live temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind speed with wind direction, and precipitation information.
Costs £109 with free delivery on Amazon.
What’s more satisfying than being able to keep an eye on your calving pens from snuggled up in your own bed?
If you’re a couple, we’d argue this one’s a gift for both of you as there’ll be no more waking you up in the middle of the night.
FarmStream’s 360-degree view camera means you won’t miss a thing and even offers 200m daylight vision and 80m night vision.
However, priced at £269 hardwired to your wifi or £329 with a sim card, a domestic security camera could offer a cheaper alternative.
Herd management software
If you’re really looking to impress you can even help them take the stress out of bookwork with a subscription to farm management software.
There are several variants on the market but it’s worth noting one of the most popular brands – HerdWatch – is offering a Christmas bundle offer including a gift certiﬁcate for a six-month Herdwatch membership and a Herdwatch jacket for just €/£79 plus VAT.
Gifts for bookworms
Every farmer has a story to tell, but one of our favourites manages to feature more than 200.
‘200 Farmers of Scotland and Further Afield‘ by Eilidh MacPherson covers the diverse range of Scottish farmers and crofters from those farming the rugged hills of the Highlands to the sandy loams of the Lowlands.
From owner-occupiers, tenant farmers, share farmers, crofters, farm managers, starter farmers, to new entrants, the people are as diverse as the landscapes and environment in which they work.
Or perhaps you can drop some hints with Lorna Sixsmith’s ‘How to Be a Perfect Farm Wife‘ or ‘An Ideal Farm Husband‘.
You’ll find out how little effort it takes to be romantic, how to propose with pizzazz, the best ways to survive stresses like the ‘pre-silage tension’ and the ‘pre-scanning shakes’, and how to overcome your disappointment at finding your partner is not, after all, telepathic.
Books in this entertaining series are available for just €12.95 each making it a great stocking filler.
‘Great Irish Farm Book‘ by Darragh McCullough or the ‘Irish Food, From A-Z’ by Dr. Vanessa Woods are ideal for the little farmers.
Dr. Woods’ illustrated book of poems tells the story of Irish farming, food, culture and health – a true celebration of nutritious Irish food and the love of farming in Ireland. Available online for €12.
Already picking up awards as the 2020 Specsaver’s Children’s Book of the Year, Darragh McCullough’s ‘Great Irish Farm Book‘ boasts including everything children need to know about Irish farms.
Did you know that there are almost two million pigs in Ireland? And that sheep have rectangular pupils, which means they have amazing vision? Or that hens are pregnant for 21 days, but a horse can be pregnant for up to 345 days.
Available from Eason’s for €25.99.
Gifts for givers
It’s a well-known fact Santa doesn’t deliver livestock but if he could he would certainly look to Bóthar to help him deliver them.
So why not help send a cow to Africa this Christmas? With gifts starting at €10 there’s something for even the smallest of budgets. The full range can be found here on the Bóthar website.
Alternatively, here’s a gift that will keep giving all year long while supporting two Irish mental health charities.
2021 calendar ‘Irish Farming is Rearing to Go’ is filled with stunning photographs from farms across Ireland and will support Embrace Farm and The Thomas Hayes Trust – two rural suicide prevention charities.
You might not be able to get the hardworking farming lady in your life out to the spa at the moment so why not bring the spa to her?
A basic foot spa and cream are a must for those calloused hands and feet – and there’s no shame in a bit of self-care for the gentlemen too.
Gifts for foodies
A nose for quality can make a discerning foodie a difficult person to buy for, but fear not, lots of local food producers have had to come up with crafty new ways to sell their wares this year.
The Long Meadow Christmas Artisan Hamper is filled with delicious apple juices, locally-produced cheeses and chutneys – making it perfect for enjoying around the open fire at Christmas.
Priced at £50, the hamper can be ordered here.
Or perhaps you might like to enjoy a taste of Bronagh Duffin’s home cooking in the comfort of your own home with an Afternoon Tea box or Christmas themed box, which can be ordered online for £45.
For a truly unique experience, vouchers for cookery classes with Bronagh can also be purchased on the Bakehouse NI website.
Regular AgriLand readers may remember Ballylisk featured on our 2019 National Ploughing Championship coverage.
The artisan creamery is run by brothers Dean and Mark Wright from Co. Armagh – Dean looks after the dairy herd, while Mark oversees cheese production.
The pair decided to launch hampers as a means to sell their cheese as the Covid-19 hospitality lockdown caused hotel and restaurant orders for their luxury cheeses to drop off.
The hampers start at £33 and include a range of cheeses and chutneys and lots of festive goodies like shortbread, chocolate and preserves.
Clothing that works as hard as you do
We love these Irish-made brightly coloured and patterned overalls from PrettyBird that hit the “four F’s” -Functional, Fitted, Feminine and Fun.
But if you’re after something a bit less bold, a new set of waterproofs or a milking gown will always go down well with Team Dairy.
Glanbia Connect offers a range of warm workwear, boots and even this nifty beanie hat with a built-in LED light for just €6.95.
Or why not take at a look at our very own range of merchandise, stocking everything from AgriLand beanie hats and t-shirts to jackets and jerseys.
The quarter-zip top has been a very popular new addition to the range with flattering side-panel detail and is available in both ladies’ and men’s versions. The full range is available on AgriRetailer. Prices for merchandise start at €9.99.
Those who enjoy the finer things
You’ll need to look for something a bit more bespoke for those who have it all.
Spent Shells offers a delightful range of country themed fashion and homeware accessories using you’ve guessed it… spent shells.
The business was founded just two years ago by Northumbria based farmer’s wife Sarah Breckons, combining her creativity with a passion for country life, a bit of business acumen and a “dash of OCD”.
The range includes bow ties, cuff links, fascinators, fedora hats, engraved cheese boards and hip flasks as well as shot glasses made of shots.
Prices start at £15 for a feather and tweed bow tie or Guineafowl hatpin – Sarah can even gift wrap your item for no extra charge.
Wool has had a tough year but you can support the industry with every wash with these lovely dryer balls by Little Beau Sheep. The balls are designed to help speed up your drying time and knock out creases.
The West Yorkshire based company also makes felted soap and a range of skincare products using lanolin.
Prices start at £18 for three dryer balls and you can even choose your own favourite breed.
The Body Collection Gift Set is priced at £35 and comes beautifully presented in a box so no need to worry about wrapping awkward shapes.
The set contains a Suffolk breed felted soap, lanolin enriched hand wash, hand and body lotion and a lanolin lip balm.
In this day and age, a minibreak really is the ultimate luxury. Imagine escaping the reality of everyday life and enjoying the tranquillity of an overnight stay in a thatched cottage in the heart of Mid Ulster.
Sitting around the turf burning fire or curled up reading a book, soaking in the freestanding bath or snoozing in the large four-poster bed are all possible at Rosehill House. To book, or for more information, visit the Rosehill House website.
Or if you’re after a bit more excitement, treat your family or friends to a voucher for a day out experiencing the beautiful scenery and wildlife from onboard a private tour of Lough Neagh and the River Bann with Abhainn Cruises Private Lough Neagh Charter Tours.
Tours include Rams Island and Coney Island, as well as lots of local stories and folklore. Lough Neagh Experience Tours start at £180 for up to six passengers.
A night off!
If you’ve totally run out of budget or you’ve left it until the night before, a night off will never go amiss. Why not offer a hand and help them finish in time for a Christmas movie?